The Notorious Betty Page

bpaa007.jpgA Review

Slim pickin’s on the movie scene. We walked to the Lumiere last night to see The Notorious Betty Page. Coming out of the theater, Carol said, “That was fun.”

“I was just going to say that myself,” I said.

It’s the story of a naive and open young girl from Nashville, abused by her father, growing into a naive and open woman in New York and taken advantage of by certain sleezeballs, befriended and sheltered by a nice husband and wife team who happen to do bondage photography.

What I knew: Betty Page is a pin-up queen; a wholesome, girl-next-door type who was totally built, but wasn”t terribly sexy. As noted in the movie, “She can be nude, without being naked.”

I was in high school in the 50’s when Betty Page was well into her pin-up career. An enabler of sorts would invite a group of his clients—men and women who like to take pictures of girls—to a suburban home. In turn, the enabler would invite models to pose. Who knew that this was going on in the suburban homes of America? Later, Betty would pose for kinky photos, featuring bondage and such for “prominent members of society” with special requests for costumes and poses. High heeled laced boots, riding crops and ropes were popular. Through this activity she was introduced to Bunny Yeager, a Playboy photographer in Miami Beach, and she entered the mainstream. That’s where I first saw her.

bpaa015.jpg This is not giving anything away. The movie is a pretty straightforward story of her life, and she led a pretty interesting life.

Gretchen Mol brilliantly plays her and was featured in a NY Times magazine story a few weeks ago. The supporting characters are well drawn and believable, and you can”t help rooting for the husband and wife team who happen to do bondage photography. They”re nice folks who helped Betty along and always treated her with respect, but the Feds nailed them.

That’s the first movie we”ve paid to see in weeks, and no regrets. As Carol said, “That was fun.”


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